By Christopher Graham
The BYU baseball team improved its conference record to 16-11 after winning two of three games against San Diego State (15-12) on Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10.
After a cancelled first game on Thursday, May 8, the Aztecs didn”t let the inclement weather affect their play as they beat the Cougars 11-4 in the first game of the series.
SDSU juniors Anthony Gwynn and Rielly Embrey, each hitting five-for-five in the game, led the Aztecs fine offensive play.
BYU”s junior starting pitcher Jeff Mousser (5-6) was taken out in the sixth inning after giving up 14 hits and nine runs. Junior Michel Bergeron replaced him.
Both teams had to endure a one-and-a-half hour rain delay at the top of the seventh inning. When play resumed, freshman Tyler Heid was on the mound for the Cougars and faced only three batters, allowing two hits and one run before being relieved by junior Jacob Chrisman.
Aztec junior Mike Moat (5-5) was credited with the win of the first game. He gave up eight hits and four runs in six innings. Moat pitched until the rain delay, but did not return to pitch the rest of the game. Junior Daryl Harang relieved Moat and picked up the save.
The second game belonged to BYU as junior starting pitcher Paul Jacinto (8-5) came out strong giving up no hits in the first four innings leading the Cougars to a 9-5 victory.
“I was just able to hit my spots out there,” Jacinto said. “I saw what they hit in the first game and I was able to use that to know what I was going to throw.”
SDSU senior starting pitcher Joe Carque (4-5) was pulled after surrendering five runs in four innings. He was replaced by freshman Ronnie Lindsey who did not fair much better, giving up three-straight walks and two hits resulting in the Cougars closing out the fifth inning with an 8-2 lead.
Jacinto was awarded the win, pitching eight full innings and giving up a total of five hits and two runs. Freshman Clayton Barnes was given the save for the second game.
In the final game, SDSU came out strong scoring four runs in the first inning, including a three-run home run by freshman Curt Mendoza. The four runs were the only runs they scored in the game as the Cougars rallied in a 5-4 win.
BYU”s starting pitcher freshman Kenneth Gravely (5-1) was relieved in the sixth inning after successfully striking out six Aztecs and only walking two batters.
Coach Vance Law was very impressed by Gravely”s ability to have such a strong comeback after allowing four runs in the first inning.
“Young pitcher or old pitcher, if you give up four runs in the first, sometimes you just roll up the tent and take it home,” Law said. “I think he did a nice job.”
The Cougars sparked their offense in the sixth inning scoring three runs to take the lead 5-4 including a two-run home run blast by junior third baseman Kainoa Obrey.
“I thought it had a chance of leaving right off the bat,” Obrey said about his 420-foot home run after going 0-for-8 in the previous two games. “It was the first ball I”ve hit hard all series long.”
While the Cougar defense struggled, giving up four errors in the first seven innings, they were able to keep the Aztecs scoreless for eight-straight innings.
“Double plays bailed out of a lot of mistakes.” Law said.
BYU will host Southern Utah Monday, May 12, at 4 and on Tuesday, May 13, at 7 p.m. to close the home season. They will then head to Air Force May 15-17 to close out their regular season play.